Diabetes Care in Assisted Living

Moving into an assisted living facility can be great.  It provides seniors with a community where they can come and go as they please while getting their needs taken care of. Food is prepared for them at each meal, aides are available to help, and even nurses are on hand to assist with more complex medical needs. 

One of the areas where assisted living facilities cannot provide care is with diabetes management through insulin injections.

There are multiple reasons for this, but the main one is that in some states, including Texas, it is against the law for assisted living nurses to administer medication. They can help and remind, but not give a shot.

This can leave families in a difficult situation. If their parent would like to live in an assisted living community, but they need someone to manage their insulin and blood sugar on a daily basis, multiple times per day.  It can also force assisted living facilities to turn away residents because they cannot manage their diabetes care. This is one instance of where private home health care can be used in an assisted living facility, as home health care companies provide private nursing services.

Nurses are paid per visit verses an hourly charge so you know what the cost will be upfront. There would be no hourly fee or unexpected charges. Whether the nurse is there for fifteen minutes or two hours they will be paid the same amount.  What to remember is they are there to accomplish usually one or two primary tasks, not to be a home health aide.

The issues most nurses attend to are, medication management, wound care, IV’s and diabetes management as needed. With diabetes management nurses will be available up to four times per day to provide the services before breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime.

Private home care companies are successful in partnering with assisted living facilities as they allow seniors to move into a community knowing there are services to provide the help they need.

It allows new residents to join the community and move in without the fear of having no help if they need help to check their blood sugars.  It also allows current residence who may develop diabetes to not worry about being forced to move to a nursing home to have their diabetes managed.

Assisted living facilities and home care companies are able to work with one another to provide the care seniors require as they grow older.  By coming together we can provide the right care for someone without moving them out of the home in which they want to age.

Ryan McEniff, owner of Minute Women Home Care in Lexington, MA.